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Thermal and Structural Characterization of Geopolymer-Coated Polyurethane Foam—Phase Change Material Capsules/Geopolymer Concrete Composites

1
College of Engineering, United Arab Emirates University, P.O. Box 15551, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
2
School of Engineering, Wellington Institute of Technology, Private Bag 39803, Lower Hutt 5045, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(5), 796; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12050796
Received: 29 January 2019 / Revised: 3 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Construction and Building Materials)
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Abstract

The thermal and structural performance of geopolymer-coated polyurethane foam–phase change material capsules/geopolymer concrete composites was investigated. Three groups of concrete composites were prepared. The first was pure geopolymer (GP, control sample), the second was a GP/polyurethane foam (F) concrete composite, and the third was GP-coated polyurethane foam-phase change material capsules (GP-F-PCM)/GP concrete composites. Three different percentages of foam and GP-F-PCM capsules (25%, 50%, and 75%) were used in the composites. Thermal and U-value tests were conducted for all composites to characterize their peak temperature damping and insulation performances. The addition of 75% foam has been noticed to increase the back-surface temperature by 5.9 °C compared to the control sample. This may be attributed to the degradation of foam into low molecular constituents in the presence of a strong alkali. However, a temperature drop of 12.5 °C was achieved by incorporating 75% of GP-F-PCM capsules. The addition of 50% foam as a sandwich layer between two halves of a geopolymer concrete cube is also investigated. It was found that inserting a foam layer reduced the back-surface temperature by 3.3 °C, which is still less than the reduction in the case of GP-F-PCM capsules. The compressive strength was tested to check the integrity of the prepared concrete. At 28 days of aging, the compressive strength dropped from 65.2 MPa to 9.9 MPa with the addition of 75% GP-F-PCM capsules, which is still acceptable for certain building elements (e.g., nonloadbearing exterior walls). Generally, the best results were for the GP-F-PCM composite capsules as a heat insulator. View Full-Text
Keywords: phase change material; geopolymer concrete; polyurethane foam; thermal performance; thermal insulation; compressive strength phase change material; geopolymer concrete; polyurethane foam; thermal performance; thermal insulation; compressive strength
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Hassan, A.; Rashid, Y.; Mourad, A.-H.I.; Ismail, N.; Laghari, M.S. Thermal and Structural Characterization of Geopolymer-Coated Polyurethane Foam—Phase Change Material Capsules/Geopolymer Concrete Composites. Materials 2019, 12, 796.

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